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Havasu Canyon Trail
134 Photosets

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mini location map2008-04-06
47 by photographer avatarnonot
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Havasu Canyon TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 06 2008
nonot
Hiking40.00 Miles 3,900 AEG
Hiking40.00 Miles   16 Hrs      2.50 mph
3,900 ft AEG
 no routes
Partners none no partners
This was an absolutely incredible trip.

We arrived late Thursday night at the hilltop and crashed in the parking lot. The first night was cold. Some of us slept in the car, I crashed in the space between the cars.

The next morning, our group assembled and we headed down into Haulapai Canyon. The way down is pretty easy, it's all downhill :). After about 6 miles of gravel streambed you reach Havasu Creek, which you follow through the village. I had read alot of bad things about the conditions there. I didn't spend that much time, but walking through it didn't seem to be that bad. I thought it was pretty interesting.

Soon after the village, you rejoin the creek and the waterfalls begin to appear alongside the trail. First, fifty foot falls, then Navajo Falls, which is screened from view. Finally you reach Havasu Falls and your jaw hits the ground.

A short distance past the falls you enter the campground area. Sites were in short supply when we went but I think we managed to snag a good one on the other side of the creek. I was worried about finding the spring, but it's marked with huge signs :) and is impossible to miss. It should be noted that there are porta-potties on both ends of the campground, which aren't really any better or worse than those elsewhere in the world.

In the afternoon we did some swimming in the falls and explored an old mine, it was a blast.

It only took me about 3.5 hours to do the 10 miles to the campgrounds (6 to creek, 2 to village, 2 to campground), but some in my group didn't show up until a few hours later in the afternoon.

The second day I wanted to get an early start, but typical camp activities ensued and I didn't get moving until about 9 AM. I headed downstream, climbed down the chains of Mooney Falls, and proceeded at a pretty good pace. I stopped to get some pictures of Beaver Falls, but quickly was on my way again. I made it to the Colorado in about 3.5 hours and my GPS indicated the 7 mile distance was more like 9.5 with all the back and forth.

I talked briefly with some of the rafters, had lunch, and spoke with someone else who had hiked down (he said it had taken him 6 hours and he was planning to return at night. I hope he made it out OK, I didn't run into him the next morning.) On the way back upstream, I snapped photos until my camera battery ran out (I forgot the spare, doh!) It took me 4 hours on the return.

The only difficulties going to the Colorado and back are: within the first mile downstream from Mooney, there are lots of tourist trails, generally you want to stay high. Around Beaver falls, alot of side trails, you also want to stay high. Before Beaver is a steep climb using a log/board ladder. After Beaver Falls is an extremely steep downclimb (cliff). Around the Colorado there are lots of rafter trails. You want to stay on the North until the last slot canyon. Someone mentioned a knotted rope in the past logs, I don't think it is there anymore, at least I didn't see it???

I made it back to camp in the late afternoon, ate dinner, and had a good time telling people about the trip. There were some folks the next campground over we met and everyone had a good time until it was time to hit the hay.

The next day we took it easy on the way out and hiking out in the midday sun made it a little hot at times. I think it was about 4.5 hours, including several breaks.

This was a fantastic trip, if you don't go all the way to the Colorado, I think you're missing alot. It's hard to find the words to describe this amazing natural wonder.
Geology
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wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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nonot's
201 Photosets

  2008-04-06
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